June 2, 2023 / Marjoram
Stop Refreshing and Start Reframing
Complex B2B brands often reach a perplexing point of stasis. They know something isn’t working with their marketing…but what, exactly? Is their message just not cutting through marketplace noise—or worse, is it nonexistent? Either way, they’re aware the impression they’re making on potential customers isn’t reflective of the real brand.
Lacking a clear diagnosis of the real issues, many B2B leaders lean into easily identifiable tactical issues:
- “Our website sucks. We need to redo it.”
- “Our logo is outdated. We need to redesign it.”
- “Our identity is stale. We need to refresh it.”
In a genuine attempt to better connect with potential customers, B2B brands seek simple fixes for their marketing programs. But doing that first puts the focus in the wrong place. It’s like just painting the house or changing the landscaping when it’s the foundation that’s crumbling.
Instead of rushing into (re)action, they’ll benefit from taking a step back to evaluate the effectiveness of their underlying marketing foundation. Before taking on big projects like a website redesign or a brand refresh, they need to reframe the foundational elements of their brand marketing to better attract, educate, and engage potential prospects.
Identity Crisis: Your Brand and Today’s B2B Consumers
B2C brands devote a considerable amount of time and effort to crafting their public personas. For complex B2B brands, however, a purposeful, customer-focused approach to branding doesn’t rank nearly as high on the priority scale — which is a primary reason B2B websites often end up talking to internal audiences instead of prospective customers.
It’s not unusual for B2B homepages to greet visitors with dense product language and boasts of technical expertise. While product specs and engineering-speak are welcome tools for the last steps of a sales process, your website is a marketing instrument — one best used to entice prospective customers to the buying journey.
To stand out in an often-crowded competitive field, your message can’t lead with what you make. An effective message leads with what you make possible for your customers.
Reevaluating Your Brand Marketing
Today’s marketplace expects you to prioritize the point of view of the buyer, their problems and pain points. A redesigned website, logo, or visual style is not going to make much of a difference if you’re only going to use it as a vehicle for the same old product-first message. Instead, you need to speak from an outside-to-in perspective, quickly answering the only question early-stage prospects are really asking: “Can you solve my problem?”
So, how do you reposition your brand in the eyes of your target audience?
Reframing your brand marketing starts at ground level. It begins with a true understanding of your future customers and a commitment to meeting their needs. The goal of any brand reframing is making your products more accessible and relevant to your target audience. Find a friendly, informative way to speak clearly about what pain your product can alleviate and you’ll position your brand positively in their minds.
Reframing Before Refreshing
Constructing a new house always begins with a plan for a strong foundation. You would never start with the roof before there are any walls to support it. Reframing your brand puts your marketing focus in the right place: How you can help your prospect.
Reframing precedes any tactical execution because it’s the base those elements are built upon. So, before you refresh the logo or redo your website, first figure out your single message (how you can help) and optimize your new user experience around that clear message.
This means putting your brand marketing (back) on the drawing board.
Reframe Your Brand Marketing in 4 Steps
Complexity in brand and product messaging is a common pitfall afflicting B2B websites. Homepages that sing the praises of internal innovations and industry excellence instead of speaking to your actual audience: the one buying your products. How do you replace egoistic kudos with empathetic messaging that encourages your prospects to learn more and convert?
At Marjoram, we use a four-step process to help our clients reframe their brand marketing for more positive prospect experiences.
1. Discover: Align & Clarify
We dig deep to help you uncover what’s unique about you, what separates you from your competitors, and how it all aligns to impact the products or solutions your customers are searching for. Discovery entails stakeholder and customer interviews, an assessment of existing branding and messaging guidelines, and a review of all current marketing and communication strategies. To build context, we also look at how your competitors approach similar conversations with your target audience.
2. Distill: Frame & Message
Next, we sort through the uncovered information and distill it to the core idea and narratives of your brand. We edit and refine those storylines to help you craft a messaging framework that addresses the priorities of critical stakeholders while also — and more importantly — satisfying the informational needs and curiosity of your prospective buyers. Framing your new messaging puts a clear emphasis on the issues you help solve.
3. Deliver: Apply & Amplify
With the concepting and messaging development steps completed, it’s time to enact the brand reframing. Our team stays involved as needed to help plan and execute content development, including the buildout of your new messaging guidelines and an overhaul of your website. Clarity and consistency are the paths to success, no matter what form your marketing deliverables take.
4. Delight: Refine & Support
We’re here to support you, helping make the campaign and website (re)launch as smooth and stress-free as possible. And we’re here after, too, to help you evaluate and implement the results of your efforts. You’ll keep what works best, continuing to refine and optimize your message for multiple audiences and verticals as needed.
Build a Solid Marketing Foundation With Brand Reframing
If your B2B digital marketing efforts are not producing expected results, it’s time to pivot. But don’t leap before you (really) look.
A website refresh is merely a superficial fix if your messaging issues run deeper.
Before deciding on a marketing overhaul, evaluate how well your strategy is meeting your prospective buyers’ needs. Taking the time to reframe your brand will help you stand out from the crowd and create more meaningful and effective connections with your customers.
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